Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony 28mm f2 lens review product photos (5 of 7)ISO 4001-125 sec at f - 2.8

Letters to the Editor is a recurring series where Chris answers specific emails/letters that could benefit more than one photographer, interesting questions or questions that come in often. Have a question? Send it to chrisgampat[at]thephoblographer[dot]com with subject: Letter to the Editor: (Your name here).

Happy Friday everyone,

Letters to the Editor is continuing its Friday publishing schedule today with a letter asking about a specific lens upgrade for the Sony a7. Many of you are Sony users, so I’m sure that this question at one point or another will help you out too.

Just a quick note: I try to answer every email I can, but a lot of times I just can’t. I already pull 80 hour weeks and if my time was spent doing that all the time, then there would be no time to develop content for the site in a streamlined way. At six years in as a business though, I’m positive that most of you understand that. Some folks though, don’t. I’m not special, you’re not special, we’re all human beings.

If you’ve got a question, be sure to send it this way to be featured in a Letters to the Editor piece.

Hi,
As mentioned over twitter, I just wanted to ask what you would recommend for an upgrade to the A7 kit lens. I’ve been considering the FE 24-240mm F3.5-6.3 OSS. I shoot a bit of everything, mainly whilst travelling so I guess that would be landscape, though I also shoot profile shots too for cosplayers.

Thanks for answering!

….

I would probably say beginner/teetering on intermediate, I’m not using flash yet but I understand the basics of ISO, aperture and metering. My most recent works which is: https://www.flickr.com/photos/0drift/albums/72157663313167653and https://www.flickr.com/photos/0drift/albums/72157663286065814. I say work, photography for me is still a hobby 

….

Anything up to £1000. Of course the cheaper the better. Manual focus is no issue but I’ve never owned a manual focus only lens

– Clement Ho

——————-
Hi Clement,

Okay, well first off I’m going to recommend that you check out my guide to Sony FE mount lenses. The reviews there should help you a bit. But as this is, it’s pretty complicated; but there are a couple of options and none of them are zoom lenses that I’d specifically recommend.

You’re correct though: the 24-240 isn’t a bad option for you but there are more thrifty options out there.

My favorite options for you:

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony 28mm f2 lens review product photos (1 of 7)ISO 4001-30 sec at f - 2.5

Sony 28mm f2: compact, weather sealed, not a whole lot of distortion, fast to focus, and very bang for your buck. It’s affordable over at Amazon. The Amazon links on the Phoblographer redirect to your country’s listing if you’re in Canada or the European; and buying stuff from my links helps me keep the site alive.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony A7 and 35mm f2.8 image samples lead image (1 of 1)ISO 4001-30 sec at f - 1.8

Sony 35mm f2.8: This is my go-to lens. I love the 35mm focal length/field of view and with this lens I’ve never had a problem shooting portraits and landscapes. Sure, it’s only f2.8, but I’ve learned to live with that. Plus the a7 has such awesome high ISO rendition as it is so I have no problem cranking it up and nerfing the noise in post later. This is another really recommended lens.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss 50mm f2 Loxia review product photos (1 of 6)ISO 2001-125 sec at f - 4.0

Zeiss 50mm f2 Loxia: This lens really impressed me. Weather sealing, manual focus that’s super smooth, and it feels like a Leica lens in many ways. Strongly recommended.

julius motal the phoblographer sony 55mm 1.8

Sony 55mm f1.8: This lens is highly rated by so many people. It’s nice, but not my favorite. I personally like the Loxia more.

So what do I think is best for you? Honestly, the 28mm or the 35mm f2.8 are great for travel, are the fastest to focus with the latest firmware updates, are plenty sharp, and have great color rendition. With portraiture, the 35mm will be better for sure. To help you with this for portraiture, I’ve got a guide on how to do it with 35mm lenses.

For landscapes, the zoom is nice but I personally really like prime lenses more. They force you to create better images by thinking carefully about your compositions, placement of the camera, etc.

Further, the kit lens for the a7 is really good. If you really need you need to upgrade it’s often because you need more zoom range or you need to be wider. The other option is because you need something with shallower depth of field. These prime lenses may truthfully give you the best bang for your buck here.

Hope this helps and thanks for writing in!

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  • Spencer Bentley
    Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
    Disqus/1.1(2.84):2582406693

    Can’t go wrong with the Loxia. It’s the best lens i’ve ever owned and really just a joy to use.

  • Edward Moore
    Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
    Disqus/1.1(2.84):2577284308

    Pretty sure the 28mm f2 ISN’T weathersealed. Hence the lower price to the rest of the line-up. It’s not built badly but sure it’s not sealed.

  • Maxwell Starr
    Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
    Disqus/1.1(2.84):2577161814

    Upgrade to a kit lens, if you want the zoom capability, and you’re shooting cosplayers in indoor environments, I wouldn’t recommend the 24-240 due to the slow aperture at the tele end. It’s not listed here but I’d recommend the FE 24-70 f/4.0. The corners aren’t the best wide open but does have sharp centers, and the constant f/4 aperture will allow you to shoot indoors without raising the ISO though the roof.

    Ideally though I’d go with 55mm f/1.8 for just about anything. It’d be perfect for shooting your cosplayers, and stunningly sharp too. A must own for any A7 user. FE 28 f/2.0 is nice as well due to it’s performance at the price point, great for landscapes but a bit to wide for portraits and street shooting IMHO.

  • Seanman
    Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
    Disqus/1.1(2.84):2576919089

    I don’t have them so I would like input. Is the kit lens of 28-70 f3.5-4 so bad as not to be recommended? He was thinking of a huge zoom and to replace that with any of those fixed lenses might be difficult. From your level of ability you might be better off with a short zoom. Who has the lens and likes it?

  • irandroid
    Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
    Disqus/1.1(2.84):2576683193

    For the money the 55/28 combo is best choice, you can buy both for around $1100.

  • Hector
    Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
    Disqus/1.1(2.84):2576558594

    For travel why not a quality wide angle zoom for landscapes and general purpose and a nice fast prime for low light, food shots, details and portraits. There’s a nice Sony Zeiss 16-35mm f4 ZA OSS for the Wide Angle and then the Sony Zeiss 55mm f1.8 ZA for the Prime.

    The wide angle is compact at F4 and has OSS to compensate for low light situations. The 55mm is supposed to have good bokeh which is great for a lens frequently intended to be shot wide open.

    This combo will cover 95% percent of what a professional travel photographer needs to do. Although quality lenses for Sony tend to be quite expensive.

    • ChrisGampat
      Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
      Disqus/1.1(2.84):2576569255

      Not the price point he wants

      • Hector
        Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
        Disqus/1.1(2.84):2576573280

        Well the guy is supposed to have two kidneys right ;-P

        • ChrisGampat
          Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
          Disqus/1.1(2.84):2576579664

          Best comment I’ve read in a while.

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